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Current And Former Title Winning Ducks’ Coach Randy Carlyle And The Pittsburgh Penguins Past, Present And Future (Perhaps A Finals Clash) Notes

May 12, 2017

Thirty five years ago, in the decisive fifth game of a preliminary series, the two time champion, New York Islanders overcame a two goal, third period deficit and “OT’d” the Pittsburgh Penguins (a great clutch player, John Tonelli  had both the tying and winning goals),  to advance and then as one of hockey’s greatest teams, won 12 of 14 subsequent games and the third of four straight titles, as part of five straight finals appearances.

Randy Carlyle, then an All-Star defenseman with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and now in his second stint as Anaheim Ducks’ coach (25 years after ’82 and ten years ago Carlyle guided the Ducks to a Stanley Cup victory), unfortunately for he and the ’82 Pens, contributed to the Isles’ comeback win, making “mistakes” leading to the goals that enabled the Isles to overcome the deficit and tie the score.

Two nights ago and thirty five plus years later, both the Penguins, who are defending champions with 4 titles all at least nine years after ’82, and Carlyle (“An” edged upstart Edmonton (2-1) were victorious in decisive games, this time #7’s of the quarters and each will have home advantage in the upcoming semis.

Looking a bit back, the Penguins beat the Capitals for the ninth time in ten ‘offs clashes, none later than the quarters. “Wash” has gone (all) 42 straight seasons without as much as a finals game win, making but two semis, none since 1998.

Maybe, but not likely though even with likely team personnel losses they will be a contender, the Caps can take a page from the “Vogues”/Red Wings book and capture a title after a one year longer drought and two straight “most points” (virtually meaningless) regular season finishes. Detroit was sans a title 41 straight seasons from (’56-96), the last two as with the ‘2016 and 2017 Caps after a top mark “reg” finish. By the way “Det” won titles in both ’97 and ’98, sweeping the Caps (’98) in what is to date, their lone finals appearance in their 42 completed seasons (’75-2017 with no NHL season in 2005–don’t worry Gary Bettman “recovered” and then some).

Looking ahead Pittsburgh is a 13 to 5, top heavy favorite vs the Ottawa Senators in one NHL semi while the Nashville Predators, as referenced above, without the home advantage, are slight “faves” vs Carlyle’s Ducks.

A good sign for Anaheim, both Barry Melrose and Joe Micheletti, each so often wrong and so often “chalk,” each predict a Nashville series win. I will further “increase” the Ducks’ chances and offer no prediction.

Finally, this was a 5th straight post regarding hockey, tomorrow an NBA update will appear here.


Carlyle was a fine player and a masterful coach.

Click below to read a fine piece by John Kreiser, written 5 years ago, regarding the historic significance of the ’82 game 5 of the prelims between the Islanders and Penguins.

The day the Isles’ dynasty almost died |

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